PA Bill Number: HB303
Title: In firearms and other dangerous articles, further providing for firearms not to be carried without a license.
Description: In firearms and other dangerous articles, further providing for firearms not to be carried without a license. ...
Last Action: Referred to JUDICIARY
Last Action Date: Sep 13, 2019
FOAC's Weekly Message For Sunday June 23rd 2019 :: 06/23/2019
This past week, in the Pennsylvania Senate and House, we have been treated to yet another display of the unbridled hysteria promoted by factually challenged Cease-Fire PA and other anti-gun groups regarding gun free zones and Pennsylvania schools and their opposition to armed and trained security personnel in Pennsylvania schools as clarified in SB 621.
The first question that needs asked is whether or not we should protect our children in schools at least as well as we do for banks and sporting engagements among other things? The answer to this question is obviously an absolute yes! The second question is whether or not gun free school zones have worked? The obvious answer to this question is an absolute no!
Well on Friday, June 21, the anti-gunners sent a position paper on SB 621 in opposition to providing a structure for arming school security personnel, their training and the procedure with which a school board can legally authorize the deployment of these personnel. Just take a look at two of the paragraphs from their (Cease-Fire PAs) position paper below:
Dangerously Increasing the Presence of Guns in Schools
The federal Gun-Free School Zones Act, 18 U.S.C. § 992(q) et al., was enacted to decrease guns in schools and “ensure that our school grounds do not become battlegrounds.”1 SB 621 defeats that aim. Section 1314-C(c) dangerously expands the presence of armed personnel in schools by authorizing a new category of school personnel – armed school security guards, which includes independent security contractors.
Research consistently shows that increasing the number of guns in schools -- whether by arming school employees or putting guns into the hands of contracted security guards -- does not make students safer but rather increases the likelihood of gun-related violence.
So, do you agree with their position above and believe they are correct? Do your friends? Let’s look at some reality bullet points to consider:
- Currently, 20 states allow teachers and other school staff members to carry guns under a variety of rules on school property, so we don’t need to guess about how safe these schools are. Some states have had these rules for decades.
- Not a single person has been injured or killed by a teacher’s gun. But even more amazing, not a single person has been shot during any time near school hours.
- Allowing school employees and/or officers to carry guns also makes the job of the police much safer. Concealed carry means that killers won't know who is armed. Even if they take an officer by surprise, they must worry that they are revealing their position to someone else who can stop them.
- The Crime Prevention Research Center has just released a report looking at school shootings of all types in the United States from 2000 through 2018.
- The study found that during these 18 years Utah, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and parts of Oregon allowed all permitted teachers and staff to carry guns without any additional training requirements. Other states leave it to the discretion of the local superintendent or school board.
- Roughly 5 percent of Utah teachers carry permitted concealed handguns at schools across the entire state, according to Clark Aposhian, the senior member of Utah's Concealed Firearm Review Board.
- Support staff – including janitors, librarians, secretaries and lunch staff – carry firearms at a higher estimated rate of between 10 and 12 percent.
- Carrying a gun in a school is no different than being armed in a grocery store, movie theater, or restaurant.
- Roughly 17 million Americans have concealed handgun permits, amounting to 8.5 percent of the adult population outside of permit-unfriendly California and New York. Nobody knows whether the person next to them might have a gun, except in the rare cases it is needed.
- The rate of shootings and people killed by them has increased significantly since 2000. The yearly average number of people who died between 2001 and 2008 versus 2009 and 2018 has doubled (regardless of whether one excludes gang fights and suicides).
- HOWEVER, this increase has occurred ENTIRELY AMONG SCHOOLS THAT DON’T LET TEACHERS CARRY GUNS. Outside of suicides or gang violence in the wee hours of the morning, there has yet to be a single case of someone being wounded or killed from a shooting when armed teachers are around.
- There haven't been any serious accidents. No student has ever got hold of his or her teacher’s gun. And the one accidental firearms discharge by a teacher occurred outside of school hours. The teacher had only very minor injuries.
See these links for additional information coming from Purdue University’s Homeland Security Institute:
- CPRC Study: https://crimeresearch.org/2019/05/major-new-research-on-school-safety-schools-that-allow-teachers-to-carry-guns-havent-seen-school-shootings-during-school-hours/
SO, How should we protect our children?
Plastic “No Guns” signs don’t save lives. Extending “gun-free zones” from the school doors out to 1000 feet from the edge of school property doesn’t save lives. Disarming the honest moms and dads who drop off their kids in the school parking lot doesn’t save lives.
Those are the quack-cures of public safety.
These false solutions have gotten our kids killed. Maybe they sounded like a good idea at one point, but they failed the test of time.
Our children’s safety is too important to leave to politicians and the press. Let’s do what works. So if you have a moment, and one Pennsylvania’s children to have a better chance for safety in school, contact your Pennsylvania House of Representatives member and tell them to support SB 621/printer number 1009!
Pittsburgh, Guns, Mayor Peduto, And The Continuing Legacy Of Unconstitutional Behavior
The lawsuit against the city of Pittsburgh for their illegal gun laws continues with exchanges between our lawyers and the anti-gun organization Everytown lawyers, who are representing Pittsburgh, continues to march towards our day in court.
The interrogatories between our attorney and these lawyers shows that they are consumed and fixated on trying to uncover exactly what kind of firearms and other accessories that are owned by FOAC members and our plaintiffs. These Everytown lawyers seem oblivious to the fact that making this request is illegal under Pennsylvania law! What may be worse is they don’t seem to care! We will not yield on these points as they are trying to distract from the illegality of what they’ve done in the city of Pittsburgh!
Since these gun control laws were supposedly advanced to make Pittsburgh a safer place it seems quite ironic that this past week, June 19, saw the arrest of a displaced Syrian terrorist who wanted to blow up a city of Pittsburgh church because of its Christian and Nigerian connections. It bears notation that this terrorist did not choose a gun but he chose a bomb which is already illegal and encoded into law in multiple places, it clearly that wasn’t enough to stop this attack from being planned! Gun control fans may try and pretend that the fact that this attack was stopped is somehow evidence that laws banning things work. However, that fails on the grounds that we haven’t banned guns, yet shooting rampages are stopped all the time as well.
It looks like we are on pace for a September hearing in court and we will keep you informed as developments occur.
Restoring Rights for Mental Health Involuntary Commitments
It is often difficult to explain to gunowners just how precariously balanced our rights are especially when considering the problem of restoring rights that were taken because of the Pennsylvania Mental Health Procedures Act.
This past week we were approached to file an amicus brief, through our excellent attorney Joshua Prince, in a case before the Third Circuit federal court. One of the most frustrating things is to see an attorney file a case who has no idea what he’s doing except probably looking for a paycheck! Being oblivious to the presidential nature of these cases and how it harms our rights with a bad decision is just truly exasperating! So FOAC joined with the Allegheny County Sportsmen’s League and Gun Owners of America and Rob Pincus to jointly fund an amicus brief that may hopefully get this case back on track and focused the courts on the constitutional issues of importance. This effort will cost tens of thousands of dollars that most gunowners will have no concept of being spent to protect them from the bureaucratic excesses of Pennsylvania government agencies and their unwillingness to respect the constitutional freedoms we all hold dear! The name of this case is John Doe and can be found at this link - https://www2.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/173010p.pdf - and is this decision that is being appealed that we would be filing our amicus brief with the court for. Wish us luck and if you have the ability to contribute, we would certainly appreciate donations to our legal defense fund for this case!
Biden 'Smart Gun' Comment Shows How Dumb He is on Guns
“If I get elected president of the United States of America with your help, if that happens, guns, we have the capacity now in a James Bond-style to make sure no one can pull a trigger unless their DNA and fingerprint is on it,” candidate and perennial gun-grabber Joe Biden told Manhattan Democrats, the Washington Examiner reported Tuesday. “We have that capacity to do it now. You know it.”
Unsurprisingly, Biden either doesn’t know what he’s talking about or he does and doesn’t care that he’s spreading lies. While we’ve seen numerous abortive attempts over the years to bring the technology to market, recent ones involve technologies relying on fingerprint recognition, bracelets and rings, and embedded RFID chips. If DNA is to be added into the mix, it would be interesting to see that idea fleshed out, including how the sample will be extracted and then analyzed to allow for immediate firing by “authorized” users under all conceivable real-world conditions.
As for invoking James Bond, the biometric “Skyfall” gun has been exploited before by those with citizen disarmament fantasies. It only takes a cursory analysis of their claims against reality to show such “new” and “smart” ideas are anything but.
“Maybe biometric guns could reduce the gang violence that contributes more than 90 percent of U.S. homicides, most of them committed with illegal firearms,” perpetually anti-gun Slate gushed in a 2012 paean to the Bond prop. “Perhaps someone could build a stand-alone biometric system that would give pro- and anti-gun lobbies some common ground.”
Then again, perhaps not.
To believe that those perpetrating “gang violence” would in any way be inclined to participate or be affected in the least is just ignorant and childish. And as for the “pro-gun lobby” having any incentive to find “common ground” with the monopoly of violence zealots, they’ve revealed their end game too many times for informed gun owners to want them to do anything but go away.
It‘s not that we’re against technology and options offering more consumer choices per se. It’s just that, as their past actions have demonstrated, those who want to disarm gun owners have tried to make so-called “smart guns” mandatory. They would take that choice away if they could, and in doing so call for the retrofitting or surrender of all non-compliant firearms.
And then they’d ban the new ones.
But this does present an opportunity for Joe Biden to put his money where his mouth is and prove “We have the capacity to do it now.” As a former Vice President and a current presidential candidate, he could order his Secret Service detail to trade in their service weapons for, not just “smart guns,” but ones that require a DNA match in order to fire. After all, he exposed himself to them, and their being exposed back seems only fair.
What Does the Next Generation of Second Amendment Supporters Look Like?
One of the most important things Second Amendment supporters can do to preserve freedom is to make sure that respect and support for our freedoms is passed down to future generations. Thankfully, there is a new generation of Second Amendment defenders arising, thanks to the work of a number of organizations.
Students for Concealed Carry has been one of these organizations. Perhaps the most prominent voice to come from it – albeit not without some controversy – is Antonia Okafor. When anti-Second Amendment extremists are trying to paint defenders of the Second Amendment with certain terms, Okafor can readily shoot that down, and has the potential to make those extremists look like liars, but also could provoke them into doing something stupid.
In fact, Ms. Okafor is just part of something we are seeing in some other groups that support the Second Amendment, notably Turning Point USA: The next generation of Second Amendment defenders is diverse. We’re seeing African Americans like Ms. Okafor, Candace Owens (former communications director at TPUSA), 2018 and 2020 U.S. Senate candidate John James, rapper/fashion designer Kanye West, and NRATV’s Colin Noir. Hispanic Americans like TPUSA’s Anna Paulina and NRATV’s Gabby Franco are also prominently defending the Second Amendment.
Even the Washington Post had to acknowledge that there are members of the LGBTQ community who support our right to keep and bear arms. Just the fact that one member of that community works on the NRA’s social media will start conversations, and those are opportunities to change minds.
To put it bluntly, Turning Point USA has been doing very well in providing a platform and a voice that is getting a message that includes support of the Second Amendment out to people in communities that traditional Second Amendment advocacy has had difficulty connecting with. In this sense, they have put the NRA to shame.
Defending the Second Amendment in school can be a tough row to hoe, and you can bet hostile administrators and teachers will look for excuses to wreck the future of a high school or college student for supporting the Second Amendment (the method may be something unrelated and way in the past). However, looking over these groups of young pro-Second Amendment activists, it is safe to assume that that the fight for the Second Amendment is in very good hands for the future.
The Cost of Gun Control: Arrest Shows NY Authorities Rather Home Owners be Disarmed than Defended
In addition to having his house condemned, a 64-year-old New York homeowner is facing up to four years in prison for using an unregistered gun he inherited from his father to defend himself against a duo of repeat burglars, Bizpac Review Senior Staff Writer Vivek Saxena reports.
Ronald Stolarczyk of Deerfield reportedly came home to a “burglary in progress” and shot suspects Patricia Anne and Nicholas Talerico, both of whom died from their wounds. Stolarcsyk’s attorney told local reporters his client “was scared to death and he thought they were going to kill him.”
The homicides aren’t why the homeowner was arrested and charged:
“Because Stolarczyk had never registered his deceased father’s gun, he was arrested and charged with criminal possession of a firearm.”
That's a “Class E felony” per a New York State Police press release.
True, the guy is peculiar. He’s a hoarder who was living in conditions that did not comply with community housing requirements. But he didn’t even buy his gun, he inherited it, presumably along with other property. Had it been a deliberate purchase, it would be reasonable to conclude he had some understanding of “legal” transfer and possession requirements (even though the true standard for legality is supposed to assume gun ownership “shall not be infringed.”)
It’s not reasonable to presume someone who had a gun passed down to him on his father’s death would have an understanding of New York’s complex system of firearms edicts. “Ignorance of the law is no excuse” may be an expectation, but that doesn’t make it a realistic or a just one, as:
“The criminal laws are not always easy to track down and not always easy to understand. In fact, many laws are nearly impossible to understand in all of their complexity, and the whole corpus of federal law is in fact impossible to know. There are so many crimes in the federal law books that no conscientious citizen (or even a conscientious legislator, law enforcement officer, lawyer, or judge) could possibly know what they require. This puts Americans at risk of conviction and imprisonment for the violation of laws that are impossible to find and impossible to know, effectively discarding the traditional protection that conviction requires culpability.”
In Stolarczyk’s case, even if the prosecution ends up going easy on the sentencing, what he’s being charged with is a felony, and that will result in his being designated a “prohibited person,” barred for life from owning a gun. Before any antis start screaming about the guy’s peculiarities making him suspect, and the need to close the “hoarder loophole” for people living off the utility grid in ramshackle dumps, we ignore the mandate for full due process that proves someone is a danger at the peril of our liberty. And even then, resulting prohibitions are demonstrably futile). Stolarcsyk is scheduled back in court on August 5.
Advice Column Bias Against Second Amendment and Supporters
Advice columnist Amy Dickinson recently published a letter with advice for a father distraught that his daughter chose to exercise her Second Amendment rights. Reading that column shows an immense amount of ignorance and bigotry towards law-abiding gun owners.
Later in that column, she had the gall to say, “Divergent thinking is a good thing, as long as we lead from a place of respect.”
Now, it goes without saying that we don’t know much about this situation other than what the letter-writer conveyed. The fundamental truth is this: That father chose to prioritize his hatred of guns over loving and supporting his daughter and destroyed his family as a result.
Worse, Dickinson supported his decision to do that. She supported the ultimatum he laid down. She even wept because there was yet another gun owner in the United States of America. It exposes a massive amount of hypocrisy on her part.
In a column from May, she bemoans how the current political climate has “current political and media climate has fostered a level of personal discord that has infested many relationships — destroying some.” Well, Amy, you just defended the destruction of a relationship.
It is, in a sense, an exhibit as to how anti-Second Amendment extremists have beaten Second Amendment supporters in the long game. Amy Dickinson has a platform that reaches 22 million readers, and she told them that if their son or daughter exercises their Second Amendment rights, they should lay down an ultimatum to either give up the gun or leave the house.
That figure, by the way, is roughly 16 million higher than the NRA’s approximate membership these days. Add on the messaging coming from Hollywood, the media, and even our schools, and this is what Eric Holder’s desired “brainwashing” against our gun rights has wrought.
This is a reality, folks. This is the current situation. An attitude that celebrates those who destroy familial bonds over gun ownership will not go away because Second Amendment supporters scream “shall not be infringed.”
People who think that screaming “shall not be infringed” long enough, loud enough, and often enough will get the changes we all seek are denying some cold, hard reality. To be very blunt, denial of reality does far more to help Bloomberg than someone pointing out the need for strategy and tactics suitable for the present situation and the current cultural climate.
The real answer lies in building a pro-Second Amendment culture, one in which the notion of putting hatred of guns over loving a family member who chooses to exercise one’s Second Amendment rights becomes unthinkable – and that is going to be a long-term effort.
Chris Cox Head of NRAILA, Suspended at NRA
The internal struggles at the NRA have been enlarged to engulf Christopher W. Cox, head of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA). Christopher Cox has been suspended from his position at the head of the NRAILA.
Full disclosure: I am an NRA life member. I have not sent the NRA money for well over a decade.
The Board of Directors formally elects the EVP, but in practice, the EVP has enormous power over who is elected to the Board and makes certain the Board is packed with people who back the EVP. This ensures the EVP stays in power.
The conflict within the NRA has been portrayed as an attempted coup to remove Wayne LaPierre as the EVP. Who Wayne would be replaced with has never been clear.
The conflict has also been portrayed as an attempt at cleaning up internal corruption at the NRA.
Christopher Cox, head of the NRA Instituted for Legislative Action, denies the allegations that he was involved in a “coup.” From the nytimes.com:
Mr. Cox, in a statement, said: “The allegations against me are offensive and patently false. For over 24 years I have been a loyal and effective leader in this organization. My efforts have always been focused on serving the members of the National Rifle Association, and I will continue to focus all of my energy on carrying out our core mission of defending the Second Amendment.”
Power at the NRA has been concentrated in the EVP over the last 35 years. It is nearly impossible for voting members of the NRA to elect enough reform-minded directors to the board to create change, because the board is the primary agent to choose its own members, by the board's nominating committee. The EVP has significant influence over who is on the nominating committee.
Chris Cox may be innocent of any wrong-doing and simply caught up in a powerplay to keep Wayne LaPierre on as EVP. Cox is the obvious choice as a replacement. Placing him under a cloud removes him as a choice.
The enemies of the Second Amendment are rejoicing at the internal troubles at the NRA.
For the conspiracy-minded, the internal troubles at the NRA come as New York Governor Cuomo has attacked the NRA with his power as Governor.
Kooky California Congressman Swalwell Expands His Extreme Gun Control Plans with Cooling Off Periods, Ammo Limits, and One-Gun-A-Month
Congressman Eric Swalwell, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, unveiled a sweeping gun control scheme while standing in front of the NRA headquarters. Using the NRA headquarters in Virginia for a background, Democrat California Congressman Eric Swalwell unleashed a rabidly anti-gun scheme portrayed by CBS News as “an extensive gun violence prevention plan” that reads like a gun control wish list.
Swalwell, who has suggested prosecuting gun owners who fail to turn in so-called “assault weapons” if they are banned, announced his proposal at a “big” rally that wasn’t; only about 20 people showed up, and a story in Townhall was headlined, “Only Thing Sadder Than Swalwell's Gun Control Proposal? His ‘Rally' Numbers Outside NRA’s Headquarters.”
Swalwell’s sweeping plan, published on his website and announced Monday, includes the following:
- Ban and “buy back” so-called “semi-automatic assault weapons” and prosecute those who don’t comply
- Implement background checks for all gun and ammunition purchases
- Create a federal licensing program for gun owners, requiring them to satisfactorily complete a training program with both written and practical exams, the same way most states do with cars and hunters.
- Require that all people or businesses selling more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition in a 30-day period be federally licensed in a program similar to the Federal Firearms Licensee system.
- Prohibit individuals from hoarding ammunition in quantities exceeding 200 rounds per caliber or gauge.
- Limit ammunition sales for individual purchasers to 200 rounds per 30-day period.
- Repeal the law that prohibits the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives from consolidating and centralizing records relating to the acquisition of firearms maintained by federal firearms licensees.
- Ban and buy back bump stocks, large-capacity magazines that are capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition, and silencers.
- Prohibit states from allowing teachers to be armed on campus.
- Require that liability insurance be purchased before a person can buy, trade, or otherwise receive a firearm, which is what states already require for automobiles.
And these are just the highlights. There is much more to Swalwell’s scheme, including limiting handgun sales to one per month.
He would also “Implement a 48-hour ‘cooling-off period’ for firearm purchases, establish “safe storage standards” and “mandate that all gun owners comply.”
His plan also calls for the resurrection of former-President Barack Obama’s executive action to prevent anyone receiving Social Security checks for mental illness or those “deemed unfit to handle their own financial affairs” from being allowed to purchase firearms.
Swalwell may have picked the wrong place to announce this gun control plan because it essentially validates everything the NRA and other gun rights organizations have been warning about for decades.
Several weeks ago, when he appeared on Fox News with Tucker Carlson, Swalwell was put on the spot to explain his anti-gun agenda. When Carlson challenged his logic about the proposed gun ban being nothing short of confiscation and turning law-abiding citizens into felons, Swalwell tried to dodge around the true implications by arguing that Americans, being law-abiding citizens, would simply comply.
Perhaps the most alarming thing about Swalwell’s sweeping gun control agenda is that none of the other Democrats now running for president has publicly rejected it. All the other Democrats now in the race, nearly two-dozen of them, have their own gun control proposals.
Indeed, not a single Democrat now running to challenge Donald Trump in 2020 has said anything about protecting the Second Amendment if he or she takes office.
Videos of Interest: According to the anti-gun/anti-constitution group CeaseFire PA more guns does ‘not’ mean more safety but more death and refutation of the stark facts that people DO defend themselves with firearms successfully. This video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPm7nCs2NXA – shows one example of a home invasion that went ‘very’ wrong for the home invaders. This homeowner would very likely be dead, along with the entire family, if not for the presence of a firearm. If you would like to see more examples of personal self-defense please go to this link: https://foac-pac.org/Defense-Stories.
Founding Father’s Statement on Freedom: "The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion." Edmund Burke 1784.
Yours in Freedom,
Kim Stolfer, President